With overall road safety improving over the last generation, it may seem counter-intuitive to have a significant jump in road fatalities this year of 2015. However, if the rate of fatal car accidents continues through the end of December, that is what we are looking at this year. According to federal statistics, the rate of fatal accidents has taken a jump. When looking at these stats and significant cases, we can begin to understand why and how that could occur.
As stated previously the overall trend has been going down. There has been an increase in car safety attempts, including new safety features in cars, the Cash for Clunkers program taking older cars off the road, and differences in design. Altogether, this has been combined with a general decline in annual miles driven annually.
Reasons Why 2015 Appears to Be Turning into the Year of the Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident
However, this year appears to be a bit different. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was a three percent decline in accident fatalities between 2012 and 2013. This year’s pro rated data are pointing to an increase– and there may be several factors why.
- Increase of driven miles: Due to the upswing in the economy, more miles are undertaken each year. This includes businesses now traveling the road to get goods and services to consumers. In addition, families are now taking more time on the road, leading to higher numbers of accidents.
- Increase in distracted driving: The number of electronic devices in cars has increased exponentially over the last decade. This can include cell phones, GPS units, tablets, and others. This, combined with lack of education regarding the use of such devices, especially among young people, can cause many issues on the road.
The NHTSA also reported that:
“the percentage of drivers text-messaging or visibly manipulating handheld devices increased from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2014; this was a statistically significant increase.”
This causes thousands of accidents each year, including many fatalities. These factors, coupled with potential changes in driving patterns can help cause the increase in fatalities. Ehline Law has been studying the developing situation and has advice for drivers on how to avoid accidents and fatalities. Keep reading our accident articles for more information.